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Mixing melodies in Azerbaijan: FAHREE and Ilkin Dovlatov have what it takes

12 April 2024 at 08:23 CEST
FAHREE is representing Azerbaijan at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest, featuring Ilkin Dovlatov Adil Yusifov
FAHREE and Ilkin Dovlatov are heading to Sweden to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest 2024, with the song ‘Özünlə Apar.’ The sky might not be wide enough for their talents, but is the Eurovision stage?
FAHREE is representing Azerbaijan at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest, featuring Ilkin Dovlatov Adil Yusifov

Azerbaijan’s broadcaster went on a long search for the country’s top musical talent. After plenty of auditions and rounds of jury voting, they found their act. FAHREE ft. Ilkin Dovlatov will be heading to Malmö, and they’ve got the perfect musical mix. FAHREE takes the lead, while Mugham (classical Azerbaijani music) is being added by the voice of Ilkin. Ilkin is well-known in the country after competing in The Voice of Azerbaijan: Native Songs. He does, however, hate it when people ask if he’s too young for such an impressive moustache, so best not to mention it.

FAHREE is representing Azerbaijan at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest, featuring Ilkin Dovlatov Adil Yusifov

FAHREE has come from a musical family, but he hasn’t always been a professional artist. Until recently, he was pursuing a career in law. He made the switch in 2020, and we’re so glad he did.

The new popstar writes all his own songs, and is one of the writers on Özünlə Apar, which translates as ‘take me with you.’ He’s also joined by top writing talent Mado Salikh, Mila Miles, Edgar Ravin, and Hasan Hayadar (also known as KHVS). Mila released the song Apardı Uzaqlara with FAHREE in 2022, and Hasan produces for singers across Azerbaijan and Turkey. Edgar writes experimental pop music, and singer-songwriter Mado was a semi-finalist on The Voice of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan sent another duo to the 2023 Contest with twins TuralTuranX. For 2024, they’re adding in the musical magic of old sounds meeting new.

As well as singing, FAHREE might be looking forward to some professional hair styling at the Eurovision Song Contest. He says that he was once trimming his hair when he suddenly sneezed. Losing control of his hand, he accidentally shaved the side of his head.

And if you see Ilkin carrying plates, it wouldn’t be the first time. He was once performing at an event and was mistaken for a waiter. Rather than embarrassing the guests, he played along and helped wait on diners.

On top of his musical career, FAHREE is also a professional basketball player. If there’s a game between the Eurovision class of 2024, we know who’ll be picked first.

Ilkin has a very special Eurovision hero — Azerbaijani singer Alim Qasimov, who opened Eurovision 2012 in Baku with Mugham music. Ilkin is now following his lead, taking Mugham to Malmö.

Between FAHREE and Ilkin, they have a lot of favourite songs. They both have Adele songs in their top hits; for FAHREE it’s Skyfall and for Ilkin it’s Rolling In The Deep. Some of FAHREE’s top tracks include the underrated Michael Jackson track Liberian Girl, Belgian rapper Hamza’s 1994, and The Weeknd’s Sacrifice, and they’re both fans of Maroon 5. A lot of Ilkin’s favourite songs mix traditional and modern sounds, just like their Eurovision entry. He’s a fan of Turkish dance-pop artist Tarkam’s Yolla and British composer Sami Yusuf’s Nasimi.

We asked FAHREE what he’s most looking forward to in Sweden and he said: “Being an artist outside of my homeland, and the reward of all the dedication and hard work my whole Eurovision journey represents.”

Both artists associate a few different things with the country, starting with Swedish producer and DJ Avicii, the Northern lights, and fishing. They also remember Sweden winning Eurovision at Baku, Azerbaijan in 2012, courtesy of Loreen with Euphoria. FAHREE says he wouldn’t mind making it an exchange tradition.

Look out for FAHREE and Ilkin on upcoming episodes of the Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast.

Ilkin Dovlatov, along with FAHREE, is representing Azerbaijan at the 68th Eurovision Song Contest Adil Yusifov

You can learn more about FAHREE ft. Ilkin Dovlatov from Azerbaijan right here.

You can listen to all 37 songs of Eurovision 2024 via your favourite streaming service or watch the music videos on our YouTube channel.

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmö, Sweden on Tuesday 7 May (First Semi-Final), Thursday 9 May (Second Semi-Final) and Saturday 11 May (Grand Final) 2024.

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